Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 18, 2007
Stay fiercely loyal to your Catholic roots
Oblate theologian maps out survival strategy in multicultural societies
By BILL GLEN
"We wonder where we are all going because the roots we grew up on are gone."
- Fr. Ron Rolheiser
"We live in a fairly radically secular culture that can be (secularly) fundamentalist. It simply doesn't allow for Christianity and God in terms of public witness."
Jesus said that God's heart is a place of many rooms - places where he embraces the "why" - the "other."
God is universal to all people, Rolheiser said.
"We must stretch our hearts to become instruments of salvation. We must be fiercely loyal to our own identity, as Jesus was to God, even though we might find it difficult in such a multicultural world," he said.
"What we all experience as we grow more multi-faith, is that we are having our hearts stretched in ways that are at times very scary to us.
"We wonder where we are all going because the roots we grew up on are gone," he said.
Rolheiser said that to find God, go to something that is different. Be with others of different creed, race, religion, gender, ideology, health or even someone who dislikes you.
"God is other than what we are. We should always welcome strangers - somebody who is different because God always speaks in a special way through somebody who is different. And not just a different faith.
"A person who frightens you in any way, is part of God's important message to our lives."
A society with so many churches and cultures is a healthy opportunity to open more space for an infinite God to enter.
"Part of nurturing and preserving our Catholic identity is letting our hearts be stretched more and more, to accept the other."
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